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New Year health drive launched

Discussion in 'Habari na Hoja mchanganyiko' started by KiuyaJibu, Jan 2, 2009.

  1. KiuyaJibu

    KiuyaJibu JF-Expert Member

    Jan 2, 2009
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    Companies including Coca-cola, Mars and Nestle are backing a new anti-obesity drive. Skip related content
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    The Change 4 Life initiative tells families "fat is not your friend". Government adverts will begin appearing this weekend.

    The Department of Health said the idea is to "kickstart a lifestyle revolution for every family" by promoting healthy eating and exercise.

    Firms including Cadbury, Kellogg's, Kraft and PepsiCo are all taking part alongside major supermarkets Asda, Tesco and The Co-operative Group.

    People will be able to call a dedicated helpline and speak to specially-trained advisors for advice on exercise, nutrition and support services.

    A website has also been set up to bring together more than 45,000 groups and projects aimed at promoting healthy living.

    The 'cartoon' TV adverts for the campaign depict scenes for a bygone era, when people took more exercise. They contrast with modern scenes of families eating pizza and children playing video games.

    Data suggests that 90 per cent of today's children will be overweight or obese by 2050 unless action is taken now, putting them at risk of heart disease, cancer and Type 2 diabetes.

    Obesity will also cost the nation £50 billion by 2050 if the trend continues - half the entire current NHS budget for a year.

    Public health minister, Dawn Primarolo, said: "Change4Life has a critical ambition.

    "We are trying to create a lifestyle revolution on a huge scale - something which no Government has attempted before.

    "We have adopted ideas from successful movements such as Make Poverty History and Comic Relief which involves a wide range of partners, local organisations, commercial companies, charities and, of course, millions of people.

    "Change4Life is supportive, informative and reassuring - it's not about telling families what to do and what to eat."

    Chief medical officer, Sir Liam Donaldson, added: "There are two key things we can do to be healthier - eat healthier food and be more active.

    "Being active and eating well does not have to be expensive and it doesn't have to be difficult.

    "We need to engage with parents and support families to change their lifestyles for the better. Change4Life provides that support."

    A spokesman for Business4Life, which represents 30 companies involved in the campaign, said: "The private sector's vast expertise in advertising, marketing and media can be used to complement and amplify Government's objectives and messages, many of which are often shared with industry.

    "Through our partnership with the Department of Health, Business4Life members will deliver campaign messages to millions of consumers, many of whom are the most difficult to influence through conventional marketing but are most in need of adopting healthier lifestyles."

    Tam Fry, spokesman for the National Obesity Forum and the Child Growth Foundation, said: "We fervently hope that Change4Life will succeed where other department campaigns have failed.

    "Our optimism will be tempered until we see whether the food, advertising and fitness industries really do deliver the promised goods.

    "We are tempted to think that the former two are donating millions of pounds to Government as a way of heading it off from imposing the regulation it fears.

    "Legislation on the way food is processed and advertised should have come in two years ago."